The Son is Up!

 We had the opportunity to attend an outdoor Easter sunrise service Sunday. It was cool (18 degrees!) and clear with a beautiful sunrise. What a great setting for singing the joyous hymns of our Savior’s resurrection!  As the rays of sun began peaking over the mountains to the east, I couldn’t help but think of the contrast to the hours of eerie darkness during mid-day, from noon to 3 p.m. (Mt. 27:45) as Jesus bore our sins and the wrath of God was poured out on them, and Jesus was separated from His Father, suffering spiritual death on our behalf. Interesting too that the 9th hour (3 p.m.) was the time of the Jewish evening prayers and sacrifice (I Kgs. 18:36-39; Acts 3:1; 10:31). 

     I thought too of the conversation Jesus had had just hours before with Judas Iscariot as they sat about the table with the other disciples, having just celebrated the Passover meal. Jesus dipped the morsel and offered it to Judas–a final offer of friendship and an opportunity for Judas to do the right thing. But, as we know, Judas chose to go ahead with his plan of betrayal. Then a very tragic commentary follows: “After the morsel, Satan entered into him and Jesus therefore said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’ He went out immediately; and it was night” (Jn. 13:26-30). Jesus had been introduced to the world as “the light of men” which “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”   He was the “true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (Jn. 1:4,5,9).  He said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12). But, not everyone responds positively to the light. Jesus said, “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn. 3:19,20).
     All of us have experienced, too, periods of darkness in our lives when we longed for a ray of light to dispel the darkness. It may have been due to depression, poor health, loss of a loved one, financial problems or strained relationships. We wondered if we would ever see the light of day again. But the sun returned!  The Psalmist, who experienced lots of dark times, wrote: “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psa. 30:5).  There’s something about the sun coming up in the morning to remind us of the faithfulness of our God, that He is still in control, not only of the times and the seasons and the days and the nights, but of our very lives. He has not failed us or forsaken us. How encouraging it is after a period of damp, gloomy days, to see the sun come out. You just feel invigorated and given new life to go on. Amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do for a dark, gloomy spirit.
     I know that at times it seems like the night is going to last forever (like in Alaska in the winter!), but the sun has always come up and it will again. I remember one long night out camping in the Cabinet Wilderness. It was the first overnight camping with some of our grandkids. As we lay there under the big, starry sky, wishing sleep would finally come, I would hear from the granddaughter “sleeping” next to me, “Grandpa, do the bears sleep at night?”   And then a little bit later, “Grandpa, did you hear that noise?”  It seemed that night was never going to end to dispel the darkness and the accompanying fears. What a thrill to see the sun peaking over the horizon that morning!  The sun was finally up and we didn’t get eaten by bears or wolves or mountain lions (all of which do exist in quite large numbers in our “neck of the woods”).
     Well, as someone said this past Sunday morning, reminding us of what took place nearly two thousand years ago, “The Son is Up!”  There’s never been more exciting , more significant news. The angels said to the women who came early Sunday morning to the tomb, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said…go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead” (The Son is up!…Mt. 28:6,7).
     Every day when the sun comes up, remember, it is because the Son is up, for He is not only the Creator, but the sustainer of all things (Col. 1:16,17). There’s coming a day, however, when there’ll no longer be a need for the sun or moon, for the Lamb will be the lamp (Rev. 21:23). In fact, there will no longer be any night, for the Lord God shall be the light–the One who is the “true light” who came to dispel the powers of darkness in our lives that we might “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Pet. 2:9b).
     Praise God, The Son Is Up!!
 
                                                                                                            Forever His,
                                                                                                                   Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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